THE TEMPLE - ITS MINISTRY AND SERVICE #16
From the book by the same name by Alfred Edersheim
THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES
'In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and
cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and
THE most joyous of all festive seasons in Israel was that of
the 'Feast of Tabernacles.' It fell on a time of year when the
hearts of the people would naturally be full of thankfulness,
gladness, and expectancy. All the crops had been long stored; and
now all fruits were also gathered, the vintage past, and the land
only awaited the softening and refreshment of the 'latter rain,'
to prepare it for a new crop. It was appropriate that, when the
commencement of the harvest had been consecrated by offering the
first ripe sheaf of barley, and the full ingathering of the corn
by the two wave-loaves, there should now be a harvest feast of
thankfulness and of gladness unto the Lord. But that was not
all. As they looked around on the goodly land, the fruits of
which had just enriched them, they must have remembered that by
miraculous interposition the Lord their God had brought them to
this land and given it them, and that He ever claimed it as
peculiarly His own. For the land was strictly connected with the
history of the people; and both the land and the history were
linked with the mission of Israel.
If the beginning of the harvest had pointed back to the
birth of Israel in their Exodus from Egypt, and forward to the
true Passover-sacrifice in the future; if the corn-harvest was
connected with the giving of the law on Mount Sinai in the past,
and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost;
the harvest-thanksgiving of the Feast of Tabernacles reminded
Israel, on the one hand, of their dwelling in booths in the
wilderness, while, on the other hand, it pointed to the final
harvest when Israel's mission should be completed, and all
nations gathered unto the Lord. Thus the first of the three
great annual feasts spoke, in the presentation of the first
sheaf, of the founding of the Church; the second of its
harvesting, when the Church in its present state should be
presented as two leavened wave-loaves; while the third pointed
forward to the full harvest in the end, when in this mountain
shall the Lord of Hosts make unto all people a feast of fat
things ... And He will destroy in this mountain the face of
the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread
over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and the
Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke
of His people (Israel) shall He take away from all the earth.' 1
THE NAME OF THE FEAST
That these are not ideal comparisons, but the very design of the
Feast of Tabernacles, appears not only from the language of the
prophets and the peculiar services of the feast, but also from
its position in the Calendar, and even from the names by which it
is designated in Scripture. Thus in its reference to the harvest
1 Isa. xxv.6-8; comp. Rev. xxi.4, etc.
called 'the feast of ingathering;' 1 in that to the history
of Israel in the past, 'the Feast of Tabernarks;' 2 while its
symbolical bearing on the future is brought out in its
designation as emphatically, the feast;' 3 and 'the Feast
of Jehovah. 4 In this sense also Josephus, Philo, and
the Rabbis (in many passages of the "Mishnah") single it out from
all the other feasts. And quite decisive on the point is the
description of the 'latter-day' glory at the close of the
prophecies of Zechariah, where the conversion of all nations is
distinctly connected with the 'Feast of Tabernacles.' 5 That
this reference is by no means isolated will appear in the sequel.
THE TIME OF THE FEAST
The Feast of Tabernacles was the third of the great annual
festivals, at which every male in Israel was to appear before the
Lord in the place which He should choose. It fell on the 15th of
the seventh month, or Tishri (corresponding to September
or the beginning of October), as the Passover had fallen on the
15th of the first month. The significance of these numbers in
themselves and relatively will not escape attention, the more so
that this feast closed the original festive calendar; for Purim
and 'the feast of the dedication of the Temple,' which both
occurred later in the season, were of post-Mosaic origin. The
Feast of Tabernacles, or, rather (as it should be called), of
'booths,' lasted for seven days - from the 15th to the 21st
Tishri - and was followed by an Octave on the
1 Ex. xxiii.16; xxxiv.22.
2 Lev. xxiii.34; and specially ver.43; Deut. xvi.13,16;
xxxi.10; 2 Chron. viii.13; Ezra iii.4.
3 1 Kings viii.2; 2 Chron. v.3; vii 8,9.
4 So, literally, in Lev. xxiii.39.
5 Zech. xiv.16-21.
22nd Tishri. But this eighth day, though closely connected with
the Feast of Tabernacles, formed no part of that feast, as
clearly shown by the difference in the 'sacrifices and, the
ritual, and by the circumstance that the people no longer lived
in 'booths.' The first day of the feast, and also its Octave, or
Azereth (clausura, couclusio), were to be days of 'holy
convocation,' 1 and each 'a Sabbath,' 2 not in the sense of the
weekly Sabbath, but of festive rest in the Lord, 3 when no
servile work of any kind might be done.
(DID YOU NOTICE THE TRUTH that the "octave" feast of the eighth
day was a SEPARATE Feast day - Edersheim will prove this a little
later - Keith Hunt)
FOLLOWING CLOSE TO ATONEMENT
There is yet another important point to be noticed. The
'Feast of Tabernacles' followed closely on the Day of Atonement.
Both took place in the seventh month; the one on the 10th, the
other on the 15th of Tishri. What the seventh day, or Sabbath,
was in reference to the week, the seventh month seems to have
been in reference to the year. It closed not only the sacred
cycle, but also the agricultural or working year. It also marked
the change of seasons, the approach of rain and of the winter
equinox, and determined alike the commencement and the close of a
sabbatical year. 4 Coming on the 15th of this seventh month -
that is, at full moon, when the 'sacred' month had, so to speak,
'attained its' full strength--the Feast of Tabernacles
appropriately followed five days after the Day of Atonement, in
which the sin of Israel had been removed, and its covenant
relation to God restored. Thus a sanctified nation could keep
a holy feast of harvest joy unto the Lord, just as in the truest
sense it will be 'in that
1 Lev. xxiii.35,36.
2 Lev. xxiii.39.
3 Lev. xxiii.25,32.
4 Deut. xxxi.10.
day' 1 when the meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles shall be
really fulfilled. 2
Three things specially marked the Feast of Tabernacles: its
joyous festivities, the dwelling in 'booths,' and the peculiar
sacrifices and rites of the week.
THE CHIEF FEATURES
OF THE FEAST
The first of these was simply 'characteristic' of a 'feast
of ingathering:' 'Because the Lord thy God shall bless thee in
all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands,
therefore thou shalt surely rejoice - thou, and thy son, and thy
daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the
Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are
within thy gates.' Nor were any in Israel to appear before the
Lord empty: every man shall give as he is able, according to the
blessing of the Lord thy God which He hath given thee.' 3
Votive, freewill, and peace-offerings would mark their gratitude
to God, and at the meal which ensued the poor, the stranger, the
Levite, and the homeless would be welcome guests, for the Lord's
sake. Moreover, when the people saw the treasury chests opened
and emptied at this feast for the last time in the year, they
would remember their brethren at a distance, in whose name, as
well as their own, the daily and festive sacrifices were offered.
Thus their liberality would not only be stimulated, but all
Israel, however widely dispersed, would feel itself anew one
before the Lord their God and in the courts of His House.
There was, besides,
1 Zech. xiv.20.
2 Quite another picture is drawn in Hos. ix., which seems also to
refer to the Feast of Tabernacles (see specially verse 5).
Indeed, it is remarkable how many allusions to this feast occur
in the writings of the prophets, as if its types were the goal of
all their desires.
3 Deut. xvi.13-17.
something about this feast which would peculiarly remind them, if
not of their dispersion, yet of their being 'strangers and
pilgrims in the earth.' For its second characteristic was, that
during the seven days of its continuance 'all that are Israelites
born shall dwell in booths; that your generations may know that I
made the children of Israel to dwell in booths when I brought
them out of the land of Egypt'
As usual, we are met at the outset by a controversy between
the Pharisees and the Sadducees. The law had it: 2 'Ye shall
take you on the first day the fruit 3 of goodly trees, branches
of palm trees and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the
brook,' which the Sadducees understood (as do the modern Karaite
Jews) to refer to the materials whence the booths were to be
constructed, while the Pharisees applied it to what the
worshippers were to carry in their hands. The latter
interpretation is, in all likelihood, the correct one; it seems
borne out by the account of the festival at the time of Nehemiah,
4 when the booths were constructed of branches of other trees
than those mentioned in Leviticus xxiii.; and it was universally
adopted in practice at the time of Christ. The Mishnah gives most
minute details as to the height and construction of these
'booths,' the main object being to prevent any invasion of the
law. Thus it must be a real booth, and constructed of boughs of
living trees, and solely for the purposes of this festival. Hence
it must be high enough, yet not too high - at least ten
handbreadths, but not more than thirty feet; three of its walls
must be of boughs; it must be fairly
1 Lev. xxiii.42,43.
2 Lev. xxiii.40.
3 So correctly in the margin.
4 Neh, viii. 15,18.
covered with boughs, yet not so shaded as not to admit sunshine,
nor yet so open as to have not sufficient shade, the object in
each case being neither sunshine nor shade, but that it should be
a real booth of boughs of trees. It is needless to enter into
further details, except to say that these booths, and not their
houses, were to be the regular dwelling of all in Israel during
the week, and that, except in very heavy rain, they were to eat,
sleep, pray, study - in short, entirely to live in them. The only
exceptions were in favour of those absent on some pious duty, the
sick, and their attendants, 1 women, slaves, and infants who
were still depending on their mothers. 2 Finally, the rule was
that, 'whatever might contract Levitical defilement (such as
boards, cloth, etc.), or whatever did not grow out of the earth,
might not be used' in constructing the 'booths.' 3
THE FRUIT AND
It has already been noticed that, according to the view
universally prevalent at the time of Christ, the direction on the
first day of the feast to 'take the fruit of goodly trees,
branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and
willows of the brook,' was applied to what the worshippers were
to carry in their hands. The Rabbis ruled, that 'the fruit of the
goodly trees' meant the aethrog, or citron, and 'the boughs of
thick trees' the myrtle, provided it had not more berries than
leaves.' The "aethrogs" must be without blemish or deficiency of
any kind; the palm branches at least three handbreadths high, and
fit to be shaken; and each branch fresh, entire, unpolluted, and
not taken from any idolatrous grove. Every worshipper carried the
"aethrog" in his 'left hand,
1 "Succ." ii.4.
2 "Succ." ii.8.
3 "Succ." i. 4.
and in his right the lulav, palm, with myrtle and willow branch
on either side of it, tied together on the outside with its own
kind, though in the inside it might be fastened even with gold
thread. 1 There can be no doubt that the "lulav" was intended to
remind Israel, of the different stages of their wilderness
journey, as represented by the different vegetation - the palm
branches recalling the valleys and plains, the 'boughs of thick
trees,' the bushes on the mountain heights, and the willows
those brooks from which God had given His people drink; 2 while
the "arthrog" was to remind them of the fruits of the good which
the Lord had given them. The lulav was used in the Temple on each
of the seven festive days, even children, if they were able to
shake it, being bound to carry one. If the first day of the feast
fell on a Sabbath, the people brought their lulavs on the
previous day into the synagogue on the Temple Mount, and fetched
them in the morning, so as not needlessly to break the Sabbath
The "THIRD CHARACTERISTIC" of the Feast of Tabernacles was its
offerings. These were altogether peculiar. The sin-offering for
each of the seven days was 'one kid of the goats' The burnt-
offerings consisted of bullocks, rams, and lambs, with their
appropriate meat-and-drink-offerings. But, whereas the number of
the rams and lambs remained the same on each day of the festival,
that of the bullocks decreased every day by one - from thirteen
on the first to seven bullocks on the last day,'that great day of
the feast.' As no special injunctions are given about the
1 "Succ." iii.8.
See the Art. by Pressel in Herzog's "Real.-Encycl." vol. viii.
infer that it was, as usually, 1 1/4 of a hin of wine for each
lamb, 1/3 for each ram, and 1/2 for each bullock (the hin = 1
gallon 2 pints). The 'meat-offering' is expressly fixed 2 at
1/10 of an ephah of flour, mixed with 1/4 of a hin of oil, for
each lamb; 2/10 of an ephah, with 1/3 hin of oil, for each ram;
and 3/10 of an ephah, with 1/2 hin of oil, for each bullock.
Three things are remarkable about these burnt-offerings.
Firs they are evidently the characteristic sacrifice of the Feast
of Tabernacles. As compared with the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
the number of the rams and lambs is double, while that of the
bullocks is fi-fold (14 during the Passover week, 5 x 14 during
that of Tabernacles). Secondly, the number of the burnt-
sacrifices, whether taking each kind by itself or all of
them together, is always divisible by the sacred number seven. We
have for the week 70 bullocks, 14 rams, and 98 lambs, or
altogether 182 sacrifices (26 X 7), to which must be added 336
(48 X 7) tenths of ephahs of flour for the meat-offering. We
will not pursue the tempting subject of this symbolism of numbers
further than to point out that, whereas the sacred number 7
appeared at the Feast of Unleavened Bread only in the number of
its days, and at Pentecost in the period of its observance (7 x 7
days after Passover), the Feast of Tabernacles lasted seven days,
took place when the seventh month was at its full height, and had
the number 7 impressed on its characteristic sacrifices.
It is not so easy to account for the third peculiarity of
these sacrifices - that of the daily diminution in the number of
bullocks offered. The common explanation, that it was intended to
indicate the decreasing sanctity of
1 Numb. xv.1-10.
2 Numb. xxix.12, etc.
each successive day of the feast, while the sacred number 7 was
still to be reserved for the last day, is not more satisfactory
than the view propounded in the Talmud, that these sacrifices
were offered, not for Israel, but for the nations of the world:
'There were seventy bullocks, to correspond to the number of the
seventy nations in the world.' (Maybe they thought back then that
there were only 70 nations in the world; today of course that
idea is blown out through the window - Keith Hunt). But did the
Rabbis understand the prophetic character of this feast? An
attentive consideration of its peculiar ceremonial will convince
that it must have been exceedingly difficult to ignore it
THE SIGHT WOULD
On the day before the Feast of Tabernacles - the 14th Tishri
- the festive pilgrims had all arrived in Jerusalem. The 'booths'
on the roofs, in the courtyards, in streets and squares, as well
as roads and gardens, within a Sabbath day's journey, must have
given the city and neighbourhood an unusually picturesque
appearance. The preparation of all that was needed for the
festival - purification, the care of the offerings that each
would bring, and friendly communications between those who were
to be invited to the sacrificial meal - no doubt sufficiently
occupied their time. When the early autumn evening set in, the
blasts of the priests' trumpets on the Temple Mount announced to
Israel the advent of the feast.
AT THE TEMPLE
As at the Passover and at Pentecost, the altar of
burnt-offering was cleansed during the first night-watch, and the
gates of the Temple were thrown open immediately after midnight.
The time till the beginning of the ordinary morning sacrifice was
occupied in examining the various sacrifices and offerings that
were to be brought during the day. While the morning sacrifice
was being prepared, a priest, accompanied by a joyous procession
with music, went down to the Pool of Siloam, whence he drew water
into a golden pitcher, capable of holding three log (rather more
than two pints). But on the Sabbaths they fetched the water from
a golden vessel in the Temple itself into which it had been
carried from Siloam on the preceding day. At the same time that
the procession started for Siloam, another went to a place in the
Kedron valley, close by, called Motza, whence they brought willow
branches, which, amidst the blasts of the priests' trumpets, they
stuck on either side of the altar of burnt-offering, bending them
over towards it, so as to form a kind of leafy canopy.
Then the ordinary sacrifice proceeded, the priest who had
gone to Siloam so timing it, that he returned just as his
brethren carried up the pieces of the sacrifice to lay
them on the altar. As he entered by the 'Watergate,' which
obtained its name from this ceremony, he was received by a
threefold blast from the priests' trumpets. The priest then went
up the rise of the altar and turned to the left, where there were
two silver basins with narrow holes - the eastern a little wider
for the wine, and the western somewhat narrower for the water.
Into these the wine of the drink-offering was poured, and at the
same time the water from Siloam, the people shouting to the
priest, 'Raise thy hand,' to show that he really poured the water
into the basin which led to the base of the altar. For, sharing
the objections of the Sadducees, Alexander Jannaeus, the
Maccabean king-priest (about 95 B.c.), had shown his contempt for
the Pharisees by pouring the water at this feast upon the ground,
on which the people pelted him with their "aethrogs," and would
have murdered him, if his foreign body-guard had not interfered,
on which occasion no less than six thousand Jews were killed in
(So much for any love between the Sadducees and the Pharisees,
but the Pharisees being the popular religious party with the
Jews, the Sadducees conducted the Temple services according to
Pharisee teaching and traditions - Keith Hunt)
THE MUSIC OF
As soon as the wine and the water were being poured out, the
Temple music began, and the 'Hallel' 1 was sung in the manner
previously prescribed, and to the accompaniment of flutes, except
on the Sabbath and on the first day of the feast, when flute
playing was not allowed, on account of the sanctity of the days.
When the choir came to these words, 2 'O give thanks to the
Lord,' and again when they sang, 3 'O work then now salvation,
Jehovah;' and once more at the close ,4 'O give thanks unto the
Lord,' all the worshippers shook their lulavs towards the altar.
When, therefore, the multitudes from Jerusalem, on meeting Jesus,
'cut down branches from the trees, and strewed them in the way,
and ... cried, saying, O then, work now salvation to the Son of
David!' 5 they applied, in reference to Christ, what was
regarded as one of the chief ceremonies of the Feast of
Tabernacles, praying that God would now from 'the highest'
heavens manifest and send that salvation in connection with the
Son of David, which was symbolised by the pouring out of water.
For though that ceremony was considered by the Rabbis as bearing
a subordinate reference to the dispensation of the rain, the
annual fall of which they imagined was determined by God at that
feast, its main and real application was to the future outpouring
of the Holy Spirit, as predicted - probably
1 Psa. cxiii.-cxviii.
2 Psa. cxviii.1.
3 Psa. cxviii.25.
4 Psa. cxviii.29.
5 Matt. xxi.8,9; John xii.12,I3.
in allusion to this very rit - by Isaiah the prophet. 1 Thus the
Talmud says distinctly: 'Why is the name of it called, The
drawing out of water? Because of the pouring out of the Holy
Spirit, according to what is said: " With joy shall ye draw
water out of the wells of salvation."' Hence, also, the feast
and the peculiar joyousness of it are alike designated as those
of 'the drawing out of water;' for, according to the same
Rabbinical authorities, the Holy Spirit dwells in man only
THE DAILY CIRCUIT
OF THE ALTAR
A similar symbolism was expressed by another ceremony which
tookplace at the close, not of the daily, but of the festive
sacrifices. On every one of the seven days the priests formed in
procession, and made the circuit of the altar, singing: 'O then,
now work salvation, Jehovah! O Jehovah, give prosperity!' 2
THE LAST DAY OF THE
But on the seventh, 'that great day of the feast,' they made
the circuit of the altar seven times, remembering how the walls
of Jericho had fallen in similar circumstances, and anticipating
how, by the direct interposition of God, the walls of heathenism
would fall before Jehovah, and the land lie open for His people
to go in and possess it.
We can now in some measure realise the event recorded in
John vii.37. The festivities of the Week of Tabernacles were
drawing to a close. 'It was the last day, that great day of the
feast.' It obtained this
1 Isaiah xii.3. Of course, one or other of these two views is
open, either, that the words of Isaiah were based on the ceremony
of waterpouring, or that this ceremony was derived from the words
of Isaiah. In either case, however, our inference from it holds
good. It is only fair to add, that by some the expression
'water' in Isa. xii.3 is applied to the 'law.' But this in no
way vitiates our conclusion, as the Jews expected the general
conversion of the Gentiles to be a conversion to Judaism.
2 Psa. cxviii.25.
name, although it was not one oF 'holy convocation,' partly
because it closed the feast, and partly from the circumstances
which procured it in Rabbinical writings the designations of 'Day
of the Great Hosannah,' on account of the sevenfold circuit of
the altar with 'Hosannah;' in John vii.37. and 'Day of Willows,'
and 'Day of Beating the Branches,' because all the leaves were
shaken off the willow boughs, and the palm branches beaten in
pieces by the side of the altar. It was on that day, after the
priest had returned from Siloam with his golden pitcher, and for
the last time poured its contents to the base of the altar; after
the 'Hallel' had been sung to the sound of the flute, the people
responding and worshipping as the priests three times drew the
threefold blasts from their silver trumpets just when the
interest of the people had been raised to its highest pitch,
that, from amidst the mass of worshippers, who were waving
towards the altar quite a forest of leafy branches as the last
words of Psa. cxviii were chanted--a voice was raised which
resounded through the Temple, startled the multitude, and carried
fear and hatred to the hearts of their leaders. It was Jesus, who
'stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto
Me, and drink.' Then by faith in Him should each one truly become
like the Pool of Siloam, and from his inmost being 'rivers of
living waters flow.' 1 'This spake He of the Spirit, which they
that believe on Him should receive.' Thus the significance of the
rite, in which they had just taken part, was not only fully
explained, but the mode of its fulfilment pointed out. The effect
was instantaneous. It could not but be,
1 John vii.38.
(Before you read any further, STOP! Read the above last
paragraphs again! The fact is that it was the LAST DAY of the
Feast of TABERNACLES that was called "the last day, that great
day of the Feast" in John 7:37 NOT the eighth day, of Leviticus
23, that some have taught. The so-called by some, "The Last Great
Day" is NOT the last Festival, the 8th day of Leviticus 23, but
it is the 7th day of the 7 day Feast of Tabernacles - Keith Hunt)
that in that vast assembly, so suddenly roused by being brought
face to face with Him in whom every type and prophecy is
fulfilled, there would be many who, 'when they heard this saying,
said, Of a truth this is the Prophet. Others said, This is the
Christ.' Even the Temple-guard, whose duty it would have been in
such circumstances to arrest one who had so interrupted the
services of the day, and presented himself to the people in such
a light, owned the spell of His words, and dared not to lay hands
on Him. 'Never man spake like this man,' was the only account
they could give of their unusual weakness, in answer to the
reproaches of the chief priests and Pharisees. The rebuke of the
Jewish authorities, which followed, is too characteristic to
require comment. One only of their number had been deeply moved
by the scene just witnessed in the Temple. Yet, timid as
usually, Nicodemus only laid hold of this one point, that the
Pharisees had traced the popular confession of Jesus to their
ignorance of the law, to which he replied, in the genuine
Rabbinical manner of arguing, without meeting one's opponent face
to fac: 'Doth our law judge any man before it hear him, and know
what he doeth?'
THE MAN BORN BLIND
(It will be noted that the healing of the man born blind, was the
VERY NEXT DAY, after the Feast of Tabernacles ended. Jesus
returned to the Temple - John 8:1; yes because it was the Octive
day, the 8th day as put in Leviticus 23. It was the last holy day
of the sacred year. It was the last Festival of the God. That day
was a Festival of its own, and NOT a part of the 7 day Feast of
Yabernacles. Edersheim will give proof of this a little later -
But matters were not to end with the wrangling of priests
and Pharisees. The proof which Nicodemus had invited them to seek
from the teaching and the miracles of Christ was about to be
displayed both before the people and their rulers in the healing
of the blind man. Here also it was in allusion to the ceremonial
of the Feast of Tabernacles that Jesus, when He saw the man blind
from his birth,' said: 1 'As long as I am in
1 John ix.5.
the world, I am the light of the world;' having 'anointed the
eyes of the blind man with the clay,' just as He told him, 'Go,
wash in the Pool of Siloam (which is, by interpretation, Sent).'
For the words, 'I am the light of the world,' are the same which
He had just spoken in the Temple, 1 and they had in all
probability been intended to point to another very peculiar
ceremony which took place at the Feast of Tabernacles. In the
words of the Mishnah, 2 the order of the services for that feast
was as follows 'They went first to offer the daily sacrifice in
the morning, then the additional sacrifices; after that the
votive and freewill-offerings; from thence to the festive meal;
from thence to the study of the law; and after that to offer the
evening sacrifice; and from thence they went to the joy of the
pouring out of the water.' It is this 'joy of the pouring out of
the water' which we are about to describe.
THE CEREMONIES IN THE
COURT OF THE WOMEN
At the close of the first day of the feast the worshippers
descended to the Court of the Women, where great preparations had
been made. Four golden candelabras were there, each with
four golden bowls, and against them rested four ladders; and four
youths of priestly descent held, each a pitcher of oil, capable
of holding one hundred and twenty log, from which they filled
each bowl. The old, worn breeches and girdles of the priests
served for wicks to these lamps. There was not a court in
Jerusalem that was not lit up by the light of 'the house of
water-pouring.' The 'Chassidim' and 'the men of Deed' danced
before the people with flaming torches in their hands, and sang
before them hymns and songs of praise; and the
1 John viii.12.
2 "Succah" v. 2,3,4.
Levites, with harps, and lutes, and cymbals, and trumpets, and
instruments of music without number, stood upon the fifteen steps
which led down from the Court of Israel to that of the Women,
according to the number of the fifteen Songs of Degrees in the
Book of Psalms. They stood with their instruments of music, and
sang hymns. Two priests, with trumpets in their hands, were at
the upper gate (that of Nicanor), which led from the Court of
Israel to that of the Women. At cock-crowing they drew a
threefold blast. As they reached the tenth step, they drew
another threefold blast; as they entered the court itself, they
drew yet another threefold blast; and so they blew as they
advanced, till they reached the gate which opens upon the east
(the Beautiful Gate). As they came to the eastern gate, they
turned round towards the west (to face the Holy Place), and said:
'Our fathers who were in this place, they turned their back upon
the Sanctuary of Jehovah, and their faces toward the east, and
they worshipped towards the rising sun; but as for us, our eyes
are towards the Lord.'
A fragment of one of the hymns sung that night has been
preserved. It was sung by the 'Chassidim' and 'men of Deed,' and
by those who did penance in their old age for the sins of their
The Chassidim and Men of Deed.
'Oh joy, that our youth, devoted, sage,
Doth bring no shame upon our old age!'
'Oh joy, we can in our old age
Repair the sins of youth not sage!'
Both in unison.
'Yes, happy he on whom no early guilt doth rest,
And he who, having sinned, is now with pardon blest.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE
It seems clear that this illumination of the Temple was
regarded as forming part of, and having the same symbolical
meaning as, 'the pouring out of water.' The light shining out of
the Temple into the darkness around, and lighting up every court
in Jerusalem, must have been intended as a symbol not only of
the Shechinah which once filled the Temple, but of that 'great
light' which 'the people that walked in darkness' were to see,
and which was to shine 'upon them that dwell in the land of the
shadow of death. 1 May it not be, that such prophecies as Isa.
ix. and lx. were connected with this symbolism? At any rate, it
seems most probable that Jesus had referred to this ceremony in
the words spoken by Him in the Temple at that very Feast of
Tabernacles: 'I am the light of the world; he that followeth Me
shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. 2
THE FEAST DAYS
Only the first of the seven days of this feast was 'a holy
convocation;' the other six were 'minor festivals.' On each day,
besides the ordinary morning and evening sacrifices, the festive
offerings prescribed in Numb. xxix.12-38 were brought. The Psalms
sung at the drink-offering after the festive sacrifices (or
"Musaph," as they are called), were, for the first day of the
feast, Psa. cv.; for the second, Psa. xxix.; for the third, Psa.
1., from verse 16; for the fourth, Psa. xciv., from verse 6; for
the fifth, Psa. xciv., from verse 8; for the sixth, Psa. lxxxi.,
from verse 6; for the last day of the feast, Psa. lxxxii. from
As the people retired from the altar at the close of each
day's service, they exclaimed, 'How
1 Isa. ix,2.
2 John viii.12.
beautiful art thou, O altar!' - or, according to a later version,
'We give thanks to Jehovah and to thee, O altar!' All the
four-and-twenty orders of the priesthood were engaged in the
festive offerings, which were apportioned among them according to
definite rules, which also fixed how the priestly dues were to be
divided among them. Lastly, on every sabbatical year the Law was
to be publicly read on the first day of the feast. 1
7 DAY FEAST OF
TABERNACLES IS OVER
On the afternoon of the seventh day of the feast the people
began to remove from the 'booths.' For at the Octave, on the 22nd
of Tishri, they lived no longer in booths, nor did they use the
lulav. But it was observed as 'a holy convocation;' and the
festive sacrifices prescribed in Numb. xxix.36-38 were
offered, although no more by all the twentyfour courses of
priests, and finally the 'Hallel' sung at the drink-offering.
(The dismantling of the booths on the last day, the 7th day, of
the Feast of Tabernacles, is proof that the Jews always knew the
"octive" or 8th day, was an entirely NEW FEAST! It had new
meaning, as fully expounded on this Website - Keith Hunt)
WATER POURING AND
It will have been observed that the two most important
ceremonies of the Feast of Tabernaclesthe pouring out of water
and the illumination of the Temple - were of post-Mosaic
origin and Lighting According to Jewish tradition, the pillar
of cloud by day and of fire by night had first appeared to Israel
on the 15th of Tishri, the first day of the feast. On that day
also Moses was said to have come down from the Mount, and
announced to the people that the Tabernacle of God was to be
reared among them. We know that the dedication of Solomon's
Temple and the descent of the Shechinah took place at this
feasts. Nor can we greatly err in
(There is no scripture proof of course for the former theological
teaching - Keith Hunt)
1 Dent. xxxi.10-13. In later times only certain portions were
read, the law as a whole being sufficiently known from the weekly
prelections in the synagogues.
2 1 Kings viii.; 2 Chron. vii.
finding an allusion to it in this description of heavenly things:
'After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man
could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and
tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed
with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud
voice, saying, Salvation to our God, which sitteth upon the
throne, and unto the Lamb.' 1
Whether or not our suggestions be adopted as to the typical
meaning of the two great ceremonies of the 'pouring out of the
water' and the Temple illumination, the fact remains, that the
Feast of Tabernacles is the one only type in the Old Testament
which has not yet been fulfilled.
1 Rev. vii.9,10.
To be continued with "The New Moon: The Feast of the Seventh New
Moon, or of Trumpets, or New Year's Day"
Edersheim is very wrong when he states only the Feast of
Tabernacles has not been fulfilled. The Passover Feast has been
fulfilled (1 Cor.5:7). The Feast of Unleavened Bread only partly
being fulfilled, as God's people move on to, as Jesus said, "Be
you perfect (or mature) as your Father in heaven is perfect."
This Feast is still on-going until all the saints are perfected
in perfect immortality. The Feast of Pentecost is also an on-
going fulfilment feast - the Holy Spirit moving in the lives of
the spiritual firstfruits of the human persons who will be in the
resurrection to immortal glory at Christ's coming. This Feast
also points to the time when an even greater pouring out of the
Spirit will be done, at Jesus' return and on the physical
people living then and into the 1,000 year age to come. The Feast
of Trumpets pictures the SEVEN last trumpets to come on this
earth in the last time of 42 months at the end of this age, as
proclaimed by the book of Revelation. Hence that Feast has yet to
be fulfilled. The Feast day of Atonement is the time when at the
close of this age, Satan will be chained up for the age to come;
hence the final fulfilment of this Feast is yet to happen; though
the typology of Christ as the lamb in the Holy of Holies is now
being fulfilled, as He is our High-Priest, interceding for us.
The eighth day Feast, the Sabbath day after the last day of
Tabernacles, is symbolic of the Great White Throne Judgment; the
time period when the millions who have lived and died never
having a chance of salvation, will rise in a resurrection and be
given the Bible and the book of life, as explained in the last
verses of Revelation 20.
There is a WONDERFUL meaning and plan of salvation outlined by
the Festivals of God. The vast majority of "Christianity" have no
clue about the plan of salvation the Eternal God is working out
here below. They are blind to that truth, for they will not
observe the Feasts of God, but have been darkened by the false
festivals adopted by the Roman Catholic religion and pushed off
on to 99 percent of everyone who calls themselves by Christ's
name. Edersheim, with all his knowledge of Judaism, did not know
God's plan of salvation; the Pope does not know; all the
Protestant Prophets on TV and the Youtube do not know; but YOU
can know this wonderful plan, as revealed in the Feasts of the
The religious Jews, though they have the Festivals of God, are
just as blind as to their deep spiritual and outlined guide to
the Lord's plan of salvation, for they have darkened minds as to
the Messiah and Savior Christ Jesus, whom they will not accept as
the One who was Immanuel - God with us.
Ah, but one day all that blindness will be no more, and LIGHT
will pour in and illuminate the mind to all of God's spiritual
Make sure you study my study called "The Great White Throne
Judgment" and "John 7:37" ---